Making the roads safer: testing tires at Goodyear

 

The trucking industry news site Trucking Info has a video feature on their visit to the Goodyear Tires proving grounds in San Angelo, Texas, where they conduct testing on tires, including those designed for tractor trailers.

The testing facility sits on 7.000 acres of land, where the company conducts testing on such areas as traction control, fuel economy, and durability. The company provides and quality control on both their own tires and those of competitors.

The video breaks down several control tests Goodyear conducts as they continue to develop and improve on their product and develop tires that offer peak performance in a variety of areas, doing their part to make life on the road safer for truck drivers.

To view the video, visit Trucking Info at this link.

Health Matters: Getting Your CDL

 

shutterstock_25939231(2)For many, the medical exam is the easiest part of the process for obtaining a CDL. A quick check up and you’re on your way to becoming a truck driver.

For others, though, this is the most nerve-wracking part, especially those with certain medical conditions or who take certain medications. But many regulations are vague or complicated, leaving the candidate scratching his head wondering if he is qualified.

But don’t worry if you have a medical condition you fear may interfere with your ability to drive: the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has a list of ailments that disqualify applicants from commercial driving. For many of these maladies, this applies for instances where the disease is of sufficient severity that it would likely interfere with the driver’s ability to operate a commercial motor vehicle safely.

  • Diabetes mellitus, requiring insulin to control
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Angina
  • Coronary insufficiency
  • Thrombosis or other cardiovascular disease that is known to be accompanied by syncope, dyspnea, collapse, or congestive cardiac failure
  • Respiratory dysfunction
  • High blood pressure
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, orthopedic, muscular, neuromuscular, or vascular disease
  • Epilepsy, or any other condition which is likely to cause loss of consciousness or any loss of ability to control a motor vehicle
  • Mental, nervous, organic, or functional disease or psychiatric disorder
  • Visual acuity that allows them to hear at least 20/40 in each eye (either with or without corrective lenses)
  • Hearing that allows them to perceive a forced whisper at 5 feet (with or without the user of a hearing device)

These rules are in place as a safety precaution. These illnesses can compromise the driver’s ability to operate their vehicle safely, which creates a potentially dangerous situation on the road. Allowing a driver behind the wheel of a vehicle while having one of those conditions can lead to fatal consequences.

Those aren’t the only conditions that disqualify drivers. The loss of a limb, including one or both feet, legs, hands, arms, or loss of or impairment of fingers, or with the arm, leg, or foot that would prevent gripping or otherwise would interfere with the ability to control their vehicle would also lead to them being deemed unable to obtain a commercial driver’s license.

However, in cases of physical impairment, much like with vision or hearing impairments, if the candidate can perform the tasks associated with driving a commercial vehicle with the use of a prosthetic, brace, or a similar device may be allowed to drive. Someone who has been granted a Skill Performance Evaluation (SPE) Certificate (which was formerly called the Limb Waiver Program) is also typically allowed to drive.

Drugs and Medications

As you can imagine, the government tends to take a negative view of truck drivers under the influence of drugs and heavy medications as well. The FMCSA specifies that a driver who is using a drug identified in 21 CFR 1308.11 (391.42(b)(12)) (which is to say substances identified as controlled) or substances such as amphetamine, a narcotic, or another habit-forming drug, the driver should be deemed medically unqualified to drive. Exceptions can be made if the prescribing doctor can write that the driver is safe to be a commercial driver while taking the medication. The medical examiner then may (but is not compelled to) certify the driver. In addition, anti-seizure medications and methadone are both disqualifying medications as well.

Overall, the government strives to take a position of caution when it comes to allowing truck drivers to operate. In the unsteady hands of someone under the influence of medication, drugs or alcohol, or someone with a severe medical condition, a truck can cease being a tool of commercial production and become a weapon of destruction.

A prospective driver who has one of these medical issues or is on medication or takes drugs to excess constitutes a risk and a potential public danger. For the sake of those on the road and in the interest of public safety, these people must be denied the ability to drive a commercial vehicle until such time that those restrictions stop being a hindrance to their ability to drive.

Remember, if you have questions or concerns, talk to your instructor or Career Advisor at the school. They’ll be of great assistance to you!

5 Tips for Passing the CDL Written Exam

 

Passing the CDL Exam can be a nerve-wracking experience for drivers. You’ve spent the last couple of months pouring yourself into a single task, only to find the whole experience has come down to this: a single day, a single, two-part exam that tests your knowledge of what you’ve learned.

Of course, the best tip for finding success on the CDL Exam would be “pay attention in trucking school,” but that rather vague bit of advice isn’t going to get you very far, will it? Of course you tried to pay attention as much as possible, but that doesn’t account for knowing everything. You need specific advice, tasks and tips on how to pass the exam.

Remember that the CDL Exam is broken into two parts: the written and the driving portions. You will have to score 85 percent on each portion in order to pass. For the purposes of this article, we will focus on the written portion of the exam.

Here are 5 tips for passing the written part of your CDL exam:

1.  Focus: From the time you begin truck driving school until the CDL is placed in your hand, you should remain focused on earning your CDL (with a few necessary scheduled breaks, of course).

5 tips to passing written CDL exam

Keep in mind that the CDL is to help you provide a living, so treat it with the appropriate reverence. Don’t make the mistake of only thinking about the CDL when you’re actually doing the work. Give yourself more time to absorb the knowledge you are compiling.

 

2.  Study: Perhaps the best and most direct way to study for the exam is to study your state’s Commercial Driver’s License Manual. It is the direct document that contains all of the topics covered in the exam, and will cover all of the basic laws.

5 tips to passing written CDL exam

Everything from vehicle inspection to anticipating hazards to accident procedures are covered in the CDL manual. It is your truck driving bible, and you should be as familiar with it as a devout Christian is that OTHER bible.

 

3.  Practice: Take some CDL Practice tests. You can find free practice exams all over the Web. Take advantage of that particular resource, because it can really help you get a good sense of how the questions are structured and written, which can be very important in selecting your answers.5 tips to passing written CDL exam

4.  Be alert: Once you are in there taking the exam, be on the lookout. Remember that high school teacher who would slide a few trick questions into tests to keep you on your toes? You’re probably not going to get any trick questions, but that doesn’t mean there won’t necessarily be tricky wording.

5 tips to passing written CDL exam

Also, be on the lookout for the dreaded “best possible answer,” where there are two or more answers that are technically correct, but one is more correct than the others.

 

5. Use test-taking skills: While you should know all of the answers already from studying the CDL Manual inside and out, you still may experience a little brain drain or test-taking anxiety that will keep you from focusing.

5 tips to passing written CDL exam

Use those old middle- and high-school test-taking skills when you draw a blank: eliminate multiple-choice answers you know are wrong—the process of elimination can improve your odds of guessing a right answer by up to half.

 

Those are our Top 5 Tips for helping you pass your written CDL exam. What tips do you have for other students that may be stressing out over taking the written part of the exam? What did you do to get through it?

Stunt Driver Jumps Semi 166 Feet, Shatters Old World Record (Video)

 


World Record Semi Truck Jump!

YES, stunt driving semi tractors is a thing. July 23-25, 2015 was Evel Knievel Days (it’s an extreme sports festival) in his hometown of Butte, Montana. In front of hundreds of cheering onlookers, Gregg Godfrey shattered his 2008 world record by jumping his semi-truck 166 feet in the air. His 2008 record was a 50-foot jump, which was broken in 2014 with a 83.7 foot jump… Oh, and that one just happened to include an attached trailer….

And, just because he could… he ended this world record shattering jump by kindly parallel parking his rig. (which most people can’t pull off on a normal day, with parallel park assist!)

YouTube video by Colton Moore


Vintage Caravan Converted Into A Mobile Office Space

 

Have you seen this “Tiny House” movement that’s gotten big recently? (Well, that is a funny sentence..) I’m interested in the idea, but don’t think I could take it. Maybe if I lived by myself, and didn’t have “stuff.”

This guy turned a camper into his office space, which got me thinking: if you are an OTR driver, you’ve kind of already been doing the “tiny house” living/working thing, spending the days and nights in your truck.

tiny camper turned into office space

I wonder what kind of WiFi signal he gets out there in the woods?

By the owner/builder Tom van de Beek:

I made this mobile office because I thought it would be awesome to be in the wilderness as much as possible, while at the same time doing my work as an entrepreneur. This is how the first off-the-grid back to nature mobile office came to life.

It runs on solar energy and provides me with the necessary electricity to charge my laptop and my phone. It has LED-lights, a comfortable couch and even a little espresso machine! Now our company is transforming more vintage caravans into micro-offices to make it possible for everyone to work from the woods!


 
What if this was your office, or is what you came home to? Could you do it, or do you like stretching out when you get home?

(h/t: boredpanda)

7 Non-Trucking Jobs You Can Get With Your CDL

 

Many people start looking to get a commercial driver’s license with the intent of becoming an over-the-road truck driver. And why not? It’s a common profession that has a lot of demand at the moment, so there are plenty of jobs available. However, it’s not the only show in town. A CDL is a surprisingly versatile document, and while driving is almost always on the docket if you are getting a CDL, driving a big rig is far from the only occupation you can hope to pursue.

Here are 7 different non-trucking jobs you can get with your CDL:

Highway Maintenance Technician: Highway construction and repair projects often require the use of large vehicles, which means people are needed to drive those vehicles. Everything from dump trucks to skid steers to concrete mixers and paint trucks are used for highway maintenance, so if you want this job, you’d better put your work boots on. Often a Class B CDL is the minimum requirement for this position. (http://careers.dbiservices.com/index.php?content=showjob&id=590)

Engineering Equipment Operator: As an Engineering Equipment Operator you will operate a variety of heavy machinery including pump trucks and trash compactors and will help prepare terrain for upcoming construction projects. Depending on where in the country you are working and the geographical structures around you, and the nature of the business that employs you, you can work in any number of environments up to and including bodies of water. (https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/408946300)

Construction Equipment Operator: Few fields have as diverse a set of big vehicles as the construction industry. Skid steers, dump trucks, knuckle boom loaders, track hoes, loaders, flatbeds, bush hogs, cranes, and steamrollers. You name it, the construction guys use it. All of them require an operator who possesses a CDL. (http://agency.governmentjobs.com/escambia/default.cfm?action=viewJob&jobID=59549)

 7 Non-Trucking Jobs You Can Pursue With Your CDL: Bus Driving

Bus Driver: Bus driving is a solid alternative to truck driving. Providing stability and flexibility, there are several different types of bus driving jobs, each of which have their own distinct vibe. Whether you choose city bus, school bus, tour bus, or an intercity bus, you have a different clientele and a different work experience.

 

Tractor Trailer Technician: While not required in most states, having a CDL is a big plus for most tractor trailer technicians. It stands to reason that it is better to be qualified to drive a vehicle you are working on. Tractor trailer technicians don’t haul loads with their trucks, but they certainly are good at fixing them. Maintaining fleets of trucks is a big job that is usually performed by a team of semi-truck techs, and is a vital part of the trucking industry.

Terminal Manager: Another job that doesn’t require most workers to have a CDL, but it greatly helps. Terminal managers are the field managers of a trucking company, and are responsible for organizing, planning, and implementing transportation solutions. In other words, they manage trucking company workloads.

Delivery Driver: Delivery drivers don’t have the prodigious time on the road that perhaps an over-the-road hauler does, but the two occupations are close cousins. Businesses as diverse as furniture companies and medical equipment suppliers often provide delivery services, and often employ workers with commercial driver’s licenses.

Indeed there are many vehicles you can operate, and an equal number of potential employers who will look at hiring you if you have a CDL, depending on your level of experience. These jobs can each bring their nuances that offer commercial drivers a surprising level of diversity to their daily work experience. So, if your worried that getting your CDL will limit you to only being able to drive a truck – think again! And when you’re ready to get started, give us a call!

Becoming a Professional Truck Driver: Not another dead-end job, but a rewarding career

 

It’s time to stop playing around and laying around. It’s time to stop being unsure about what you’re doing. It’s time to quit going after jobs that lead to a dead end. And most of all, it’s time to stop the silliness.

It’s time to start Denver CDL school. It’s time to start getting ready for your career.

There are many merits to getting started with your career now, rather than waiting for later. One is that the sooner you get moving on Denver CDL school, the sooner you will start becoming a professional commercial driver, and the more experience you rack up in your chosen field of endeavor, and the more you stop gaining experience in pointless, aimless fields where you’re not gaining any real tangible job skills.

We all work fast food, restaurant, or retail store jobs when we’re young, and to be sure they all play an important role in our development as professionals and as people. But if you have the opportunity to explode onto the scene in your final career, and position yourself so that you have the opportunity to begin gaining experience in your chosen field, you have to take advantage of that as soon as possible.

Of course, some would say that there is something to be said for people who stay “a kid” for a little longer, and choose not to transition into Denver CDL school just yet, especially right out of high school. Of course, this is always your prerogative, and indeed there is a little joy to be had out of not becoming a “grown up” right away.

But in today’s job market, the sooner you get started, the sooner you gain experience. Denver CDL school is there to get you started, and the better positioned you are for that success.

Look at it this way: if you are 20 years old, working a job in retail somewhere, somewhere you aren’t going to be developing real skills that will help you as a commercial driver, you can choose to “stay a kid” for 2 or 3 more years. Then you start Denver CDL school at 23. By the time you’re 30 you’ll have less than 7 years of experience driving, and you may or may not be positioned for a promotion.

By contrast, let’s say for a moment you start Denver CDL school at 20. You go through the 3 week program, and begin more or less immediately. By 30, you’ll have nearly a decade in, you will most likely have gotten one promotion, and suddenly you’re a young rising star in the company. You’ll be positioned for another promotion in the next several years, and will likely be an in-demand talent with experience by that time.

Still think those 2-3 years don’t matter in the long run? Much of moving up in corporate America is in perception, and a young person with a lot of experience is a hot commodity who brings with him or her demands that employers are more apt to meet.

Of course, it’s up to you whether you want to pursue Denver CDL school now, or if you want to put it off for awhile. It can only have a positive effect on your career to start early, as long as you’re ready to take on the commitment of a career and put yourself out there to the world.

Denver CDL school is that start to a career that moves you past childhood and into adulthood, helps you prepare for a solid, respectable career that can put you in the right position for the rest of your life, ready you to move up in the professional world, and soon you can become a supervisor, helping others do the work rather than having to do it all yourself.

That’s what starting Denver CDL school a little earlier does for you. But you can stay a kid for awhile longer if you think it will help you feel better about yourself down the road. But will it?

Of course it won’t, silly. Get yourself off the couch and get started with Denver CDL school now. Like today. Go. Go! Do it!

Bus driving isn’t a career.

 

Bus driving isn’t a career.

That’s what they will tell you. You know that person, the one who may or may not have some sort of stable career of their own, may or may not be a job hopper or someone who has no direction, but doesn’t hesitate to tell you how Denver CDL school isn’t the right choice for you.

Because they know, right? They are the experts on careers, and they know your life better than you, and the plan they have for you was made with a greater amount of knowledge than you, based on the limited information they have of you.

Isn’t that right?

This is your chance to show those naysayers, the ones who think they know it all but really know only their own failures and how they are going to improve upon you. And how much do we love proving those people wrong?

We all have those naysayers in our lives, those who are at best nosy and irritating and more often overbearing and condescending. They are the people for whom whichever decision you make, whether you go to Denver CDL school, to an electrician school, or anywhere else, will choose to criticize your decision and tell you how wrong it is.

Don’t let the negative nellies tell you that Denver CDL school isn’t going to work for you, for whatever reason. We all have dreams, and we all have a plan for ourselves. As long as you stay true to your plan, and don’t let anyone tell you differently.

There are many people who have based their career on Denver CDL school, and have forged successful, lucrative, and interesting careers out of it. Truck drivers, bus drivers, construction professionals (or at least those who operate the heavy machinery) all attended Denver CDL school and earned a CDL, then went on to achieve professional success.

And it certainly takes a certain amount of work in order to get this endeavor off the ground, a great amount of concentration, and lots of practice. But as they say, if it’s not difficult, it’s not worth doing, so rest assured that the level of difficulty is tied to the payoff you will have in the end.

Perhaps that’s what the naysayers are keying in on. Maybe they think you don’t have what it takes to handle the pressure of a commercial driving job. This may be the result of a misconception, or as a result of a belief they have in your work ethic (or, more accurately, a lack of belief they have in your work ethic). Maybe they think the work is beneath you (or, even worse, above you).

But their reasonings are irrelevant to you in the end. Your focus should be on Denver CDL school, and the success you are going to attain, not the silly ramblings of people who think they know you better than they do. You have more work to do than extra time you can devote to listening to Find people who don’t know any better.

In the end, it’s your belief in yourself that matters most, and the hard work you’re willing to put in at Denver CDL school that will matter most. Gear yourself up, make the commitment, and meet the challenge, and then use the skills you learn at Denver CDL school to your advantage.

That’s the best way to prove the doubters wrong: succeed. Denver CDL school won’t ensure your success, but it will put you in a position where you can succeed if you really put your mind to it and commit yourself to success.

Then you can have the best revenge on those who don’t believe in you: you can believe in yourself, believe in Denver CDL school, and you can believe in your career. Finding that success will be the difference between you telling the doubters where to go, and accepting that those naysayers are right. You can be a winner, and you can use Denver CDL school to show you are in control of your life and prepare for a great career.

What’s the Right Time to Start Your Job as a Trucker? Right Now.

 

You now when the time is right to start your career. Even if you’ve been there you’ll start to feel the pull of…something. You’ll know it’s time to commit to the new beginning of your life. That’s when you know it’s actually now time to begin Denver CDL school.

Initially, your toughest choice will most likely be which Denver CDL school you will select. This is true with any school choice, but when you are ready to begin training in the trucking industry, or you want to become a bus driver, or any of the other myriad careers you can begin with a Denver CDL school education, make your choice with the appropriate level of caution and care.

Why? Well, contrary to what some may think, all schools are not created equal. If you’re not careful you can even find yourself at some unaccredited place in someone’s garage that they are calling a “Denver CDL school.” It can be a place that doesn’t have the appropriate tools necessary to provide you the proper educational experience you need to successfully complete the transition from normal, everyday vehicle operator, to highly-skilled, correctly trained master of the open road.

The trucking industry needs skilled new drivers. If you’re going to get into the industry, you may as well become one of those, not a poorly-trained pseudo-driver who has been given a couple of the basics of driving a truck, but delivered in an improper format, or with using outdated equipment and instructional methods.

You have too much invested in this career track to just let it be ruined by insufficient trucking training. So that’s why you’re going to do a little research on your school, and make sure the school you select is one worth your time and effort.

First, you want to make sure your Denver CDL school is accredited. And don’t just look at their brochure to see “accredited with…” followed by some made-up group that the owners of the school made up. Do an Internet search on the accrediting body to ensure they are legitimate.

And while you’re at it, research the school itself. Look at the quality of the school’s website—this can mean a lot, believe it or not—and look online to see what others are saying about the school. This can be important to see the reputation the Denver CDL school has built for itself. A slew of negative words and nothing positive can be a red flag (but as always, take criticism with a grain of salt; remember the presence of Internet trolls who just want to bash everything, and former students who lack a work ethic but have plenty of sour grapes to go around).

It’s a good idea to actually seek out people who have gone to the school, and maybe who is going to the school currently, as you are researching. Find out their thoughts on the school and if they would make the same choices given another opportunity.

Also important is the people who will be hiring you after you are done and through Denver CDL school. That means trucking industry professionals and employers. Seek them out and see if they have an opinion of a particular school or two. You might be surprised at the insights you receive.

This process could take a couple of weeks, depending on your Internet search skills, their level of responsiveness, and the amount of time you have to devote to your Denver CDL school search. But this is clear: when you conduct your school search, don’t let impatience and an unwillingness to do a little work give you the excuse for not doing your homework.

Finding a good school is as important as finding as school. Remember that where you go makes a difference, and making a poor decision can lead to setbacks and disappointments in what should be the start of a promising career.

Educating yourself starts with your own drive. That is true no matter which industry or job you’re looking to enter. Denver CDL school is as important to your career as a driver as the choice of which medical school is to a surgeon, or which law school is to an attorney. Make the right choice.

5 Reasons Why You Should… Get your CDL and Become a Truck Driver

 

Truck drivers are needed in every city, in every state across the U.S. The transportation industry keeps this country moving, and without truckers to transport all of the goods we purchase, life would come to a screeching halt. The demand for truck drivers continues to grow as more drivers near retirement age, and as we continue to spread across the US.

So, why should you get your CDL and become a truck driver? Here are our Top 5 Reasons why this just might be the perfect career for you!

Top 5 Reasons to become a truck driver1. You like to drive. Being in control of a large vehicle can be exciting for some, and daunting for others. If driving is fun for you, life as a truck driver can be both challenging and relaxing. What a better way to earn a living than by traveling the roads and seeing the sights this great nation has to offer.

2. You remain calm under pressure. The situations you will face as a truck driver vary from severe weather conditions to overwhelming road construction, or heavy traffic. And, you can run into these things at any time on the road. However, if you have a patient manner and are able to keep a clear head when unexpected issues come your way, problems like these can actually be fun challenges for you.

3. You hate the 9 to 5 routine. Let’s face it, sitting in an office every day staring at the same cubicle walls isn’t for everyone. And, luckily, there are many options when it comes to driving a truck. You can drive for a smaller local company, take on a regional route with plenty of home time, or take it OTR (over the road) and travel from state to state to state. If the idea of the ordinary 9 to 5 job puts a bad taste in your mouth, a truck driving career could be the ideal solution.

4. You don’t want to get a four-year degree & you don’t want to spend money training. Starting a career as a truck driver doesn’t require spending four years in college, and even more time paying off thousands in student loan debt. Many CDL schools participate in tuition reimbursement or financial assistance programs – some een offer programs specific to military veterans and their family members – that will cover the costs of your training, saving you time and money.

5. You want to get paid well. A career in the trucking industry can mean you finally bring home a steady paycheck, receive health benefits, and even get retirement options. There are countless drivers who have driven millions of safe, accident free miles who have made a living hauling goods around the nation. If you are willing to put in the work for this career, it can lead you down many different roads.

Starting a career as a truck driver is a great option if you are looking for something out of the ordinary and aren’t afraid of hard work. There are hundreds of reasons why getting your CDL is a great idea, but you have to go with your gut.

If you’re reading this, you are clearly considering the career for one reason or another, and you probably have a ton of questions. Talk to someone in the trucking industry to see if it is right for you. Give us a call or come out and visit our campus locations. Stop by a recruiter presentation and learn what different trucking companies offer their new drivers. We are ready when you are!

Take the Next Step >> Contact Us!